I love a great farmer’s bread, the recipe is from Jim Lahey, owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery. I’m not a Professional baker however I Looooove bread and I have been baking his recipe for some time. His baking cookbook My Bread has interesting recipes with many photo illustrations which are very helpful. I hope others enjoy this book as much as I do. The basic recipe for the farmer’s bread comes out looking and tasting almost like sourdough bread and the smell of freshly baked bread that just came out of the oven is pretty amazing.
This recipe will give you a guaranteed result and great fresh bread. The recipe is for one 10″ loaf. I double or triple the recipe, however, if you are thinking about baking more than one loaf at a time I recommend using two Dutch ovens. It makes everything so much faster and so more efficient
Crusty Farmers Bread, Flageolet Beans, and hard-fried Egg
Time and patience:
When making bread, the one thing you need is time and patience. It takes time for the dough to rise, which in the end, will create a bread with a wonderful flavor and crust. The recipe uses a small amount of yeast, because of this, the dough needs to rest and ferment for a longer period of time. Why use less yeast? Traditionally, it is said that rising the dough very slowly, with a little yeast, builds better flavor and aroma.
The method is simple:
Flour, salt, water, and little yeast, create a no-need dough. However, the dough has to ferment for at least 14 to 16 hours. I usually mix my dough on a Saturday at 9:00 am and bake my bread the next day at 9:00 am. So my dough is fermenting and rising for 24 hours. The longer you ferment the dough, the more intense the flavor. Place the dough in a bowl and cover the dough with a little olive oil, finally cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, place at room temperature, relax and let the little invisible creatures (Bacteria) take over.
The salt in this recipe is added to enhance flavor. If you are on a low or zero sodium diet, you can adjust the recipe to match your needs or even bake it without the salt; however, the flavor will change. Drizzling and covering the dough with a little olive oil will avoid crust building during fermentation.
Also, make sure to use lukewarm water, if you use cold water with a low yeast preparation, the rise of the dough can take up to 36 hours.
The tools you need:
A Dutch oven is key for developing a perfectly crusty crust and keeping the inside perfectly moist, a 5-quart Dutch oven creates a tight seal so the steam that develops during the baking cannot escape. The other tools I recommend are using Pyrex Glass measuring cups, they are dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and preheated oven safe. Another good tool to have is a good thermometer to measure the water temperature.
Crusty Farmers Bread, Green Chickpea Hummus,
Pickled Mustard Seeds and Sardines
Rest the bread:
Once you bake a crusty Farmer’s bread in a Dutch oven you realize how awesome freshly baked bread can be. One piece of advice from experience, there is a huge temptation to cut into the bread the moment it comes out of the oven. However, my recommendation is to let the bread rest for at least one hour before cutting it.
Bread freezes well.
Let cool completely; then transfer to an airtight bag or vessel for as long as 3 months. To store the bread, let it cool completely; then transfer to an airtight bag or vessel and leave it at room temperature.
Grilled Farmers Bread Manchego Cheese Sandwich
Lamb Meatballs, Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam
Farmers Bread: Flour, Water, Time, Yeast and Salt
- 3 cup bread flour
- 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat the water
Mix the dough
- Add flour, dry yeast, and salt to a mixing bowl and mix well. Add the warm water and by hand, mix to create a soft, sticky dough. Do not knead the dough, the less you knead need the more airy the bread will turn out3 cup bread flour, 1/2 tsp dry yeast, 2 tsp kosher salt
- When all ingredients are mixed, drizzle and cover the dough with a little olive oil. The olive oil will prevent the dough build a crust during fermentation. Cover the bowl with a towel and place it on the kitchen counter at room temperature for at least 16 hours. The dough should double in volume during that time.1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fold the dough
- Once the fermentation cycle of the bread is completed and the dough surface is dotted with bubbles lightly flour a work table and place dough on it. Flatten the dough fold it into thirds and then fold it into half.
- Gently form dough into a ball dust with flour. Cover with a cotton towel and let rise another two hours. When it is ready, the dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
Preheat oven to 450 F
- Half an hour before baking place your Dutch oven in the oven and heat the oven to 450 F
Place dough on parchment paper
- Cut a parchment paper into a circle larger than your Dutch oven. Remove dough from the towel, and place it on parchment paper, that has been dusted with cornmeal. At this point, before putting the dough in the Dutch oven you can use a sharp knife or razor blade to make a few cuts about 1/2″ deep in the top of the loaf.
Bake the bread
- Grab the parchment paper, lower it into the 450-degree Dutch oven, put on the lid, bake for 30 minutes, after 30 minutes remove the lid and bake additional 20 minutes to brown the bread. Remove bread from Dutch oven and let cool before cutting
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate